Bodywork and massage therapy in Tacoma, Wa for people who want to be active and stay active without the injuries.
You’re sitting at your desk and the stiffness creeps into your body. You ignore it, but it starts to follow you. You notice it during your workouts, when you’re driving and even when you’re trying to fall asleep.
And then it’s more than a minor annoyance. It’s a major distraction that makes everything feel hard that won’t go away, no matter how much you stretch.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Sometimes, you just need a little help.
Mind body exercise like Pilates and active recovery techniques like corrective exercise, stretching and foam rolling can help reduce tension and increase mobility, but as great as they are, sometimes, you need something more hands-on.
Hey there. I’m Nikki Naab-Levy and in addition to the 10 + years I’ve spent teaching intelligent movement, I’ve devoted the past 4 years to studying advanced bodywork techniques, because I realized that when it came addressing tension and pain patterns, there was more to the story.
Bodywork (aka massage) can directly address structural soft tissue restrictions that aren’t easily accessed by movement work to improve posture, increase flexibility and take the strain off your joints, which means:
When you can move efficiently, physical tasks take less work.
No more worrying about if it’s going to hurt when you take on a new physical activity.
More confidence in your physical abilities
When things don’t feel stuck, you can run faster, lift heavier and progress faster.
Not sure if it’s for you? Here’s how it helped a few of my clients:
"How lucky is Seattle to land Nikki Naab-Levy? In my opinion, winning-the-trifecta lucky. She is passionate about self-care and about sharing its benefits with as many people as possible, she has an extensive knowledge of how therapeutic movement helps all bodies--from the extreme fitness fanatic to the worker bee sitting at a desk for hours, AND she has a WONDERFUL sense of humor. Personally, her classes have not only helped my aches and pains, but have provided me with valuable self-help information to maintain wellness."
"You will learn a lot and you will get results."
"I have worked with Nikki for years - first learning movement to address pain, misalignment and instability in the body, then as a manual therapy (massage) client. Nikki has an eagle eye for movement issues in the body, and even a crazy ear (my boyfriend saw her and his shoulder popped while she was turned away from him and she asked, "Was that your right or left side?"). Her approach is pragmatic, yet her touch is still intuitive and gentle. She also happens to be a continuing education junkie, so no client will feel like he or she is getting a routine treatment. She will determine to the best of her ability what intervention is best at that particular time, truly listening to and assessing the client. The space is a vibrant, clean, open and small studio that easily transitions between bodywork, pilates and MELT needs. In a city teeming with massage therapy practices and pilates studios, the space is truly is a gem because of Nikki's unique training and orientation, and the excellence of service."
"I love how Nikki is able to explain complex terms in a way that are easy to understand, and how she focuses on long-term common sense solutions instead of a quick fix. Whether in her group classes or tips on social media, her advice is straightforward and easy to follow. I love that she's not a fitness guru - she just wants to help people feel their best and be their best, whatever that means to them."
"I had some significant back pain that several medical specialists were unable to relieve. I chose to work with Nikki, because she was very knowledgeable about body mechanics. After a few sessions with Nikki, my back pain was eliminated and hasn’t returned. I love her easy demeanor and willingness to provide additional information that might be of help. Her social media sites are also very helpful for many things."
"Being a dancer and working in the fitness industry for years, I was in chronic pain and desperate for a solution. I realized that what I was doing was simply not working, let alone sustainable. The results I have seen from my sessions with Nikki are too many to name! I always leave feeling better than when I came in and with a new set of tools to manage my vast array of aches of pains. I've had a huge improvement in low back pain, knee pain, muscle cramping, and mobility in my spine and hips. Even people who don't have aches and pains (or won't admit it) could benefit from working with Nikki. She’s inspired me to take time for self-care. This has carried over into other aspects of my life and provoked reflection on how I treat myself. It is more than just a massage or foam rolling... it's a step toward better mental and emotional health as well."
What does a massage therapy session with me look like?
Here’s what you can expect:
Before: Within one business day of scheduling your session, I’ll send you an email with a basic intake form and waiver that asks a little bit about your history and what you want to get out of our session.
I’ll also send you all important details like where my home studio address in Tacoma (I’m close to 6th Ave).
During: We’ll spend the first ten minutes talking about what you’re experiencing and assessing your alignment so we can track your progress. Based on what comes up, I’ll use a blend of myofascial, muscle energy, Aston and deep tissue techniques to comprehensively address your tensional patterns.
My style of bodywork is done through clothes and is strongly based in functional movement. This means that after I’ve worked on an area, I might have you stand up, walk around and see how things feel. This gives you a chance to integrate the change and helps me see where we need to go next.
Near the end of the session, I’ll show you simple, actionable strategies + self-care exercises that you can do at home.
After: At the end of our time together, you should feel some physical relief. More importantly, you’ll have a greater understanding of your movement patterns and what you can do to continue your progress long after you walk out the door.
Some of the exercises I teach have corresponding handouts, so if needed, I will email them to you the day after your session.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bodywork
Every body and their history is different, so I can’t tell you how long it will take before you feel better.
However, after working on clients with all sorts of issues – hip replacements, disc injuries, muscle strains – I’ve found that most people feel some relief after just one session.
Estimating your long-term progress is tricky, since it depends on the nature of your discomfort, if you’re able to practice self-care techniques at home and how easily you can modify your environment, but most people will see positive changes in their alignment and experience a decrease in pain over the course of several sessions.
I wish I had a crystal ball for this, but the amount of time varies. What I can tell you is that in each session, I will give you simple and actionable steps that you can take after our session to make the most of the work that you receive.
I’m what I fondly call a bodywork mutt. I’ve studied dozens of modalities and when I find something that works I add it to the toolbox.
I’ve studied from several well-known educators including Brian Utting, Dr. Leon Chaitow and Judith Aston and I practice a variety of techniques including muscle energy, deep tissue, Thai, crainiosacral and Aston spiraling. I’m also currently in the midst of the Aston Patterning certification.
What I don’t do well is your traditional Swedish relaxation massage. If you are looking to take a nap on the table with a piano playing in the background (which does have great value, it’s just not my jam), I’m not your gal. However, I’d be happy to recommend someone to you, if you need a name!
Some bodywork can be really intense, but this isn’t my way of practicing. Much of what I have studied is based in light touch therapy, which means it is gentle, but effective.
However, when appropriate, I will do deep tissue techniques. These can be a little more “sensation worthy,” but shouldn’t elicit more than a feeling of “hurt so good.” At any point in the session, if something feels too intense, you can ALWAYS tell me and I will adjust the pressure accordingly.
Additionally, if you have a preference for depth of pressure (light or deep), let me know and I’ll choose techniques accordingly. After all, this hour is about YOU.